This week NASA released some fascinating results from the experiments carried out by the Mars probe “Curiosity” on the Martian soil, which could potentially have very profound implications with regards to the future direction that human civilization may take.
According to the findings that have been published, Curiosity discovered water in the topsoil of between 1.5 and 3.0 percent, which in simple terms means that by heating one cubic foot of Martian soil, about two pints of water can be obtained.
Now, there are of course other, very serious factors, that need to be resolved before humans colonize mars; high levels of radiation, extreme temperatures, a lack of oxygen on the surface, and now the discovery that the soil contains perchlorate, which interferes with human thyroid function if ingested.
But all these things can be overcome with technology. And the fact that there is now a way to obtain water directly from the red planet’s surface means that we are a step closer to the first human landing on Mars, and then if an economic case can be made, the first Martian colonies.
But what would it be like on that first journey? And what about the psychological impact of living so far away from home? Look at the photos of Curiosity, all alone on the surface. What would it be feeling if it had human emotions?
I am a ton of pristine steel,
Reflective glass and gadgets to feel,
Curiosity has brought me to a barren place,
Open my eyes and enjoy rust covered space.
My masters leer through a distant screen,
Key in commands for their favorite machine,
But why don’t they hear my frozen cries,
When my robot eye is turned up to the skies?
Shield of darkness falls one last time,
Heralds a new beginning for a forgotten crime,
Power down to sleep in the hope that one day,
I will be found and taken away.